Even A Stopped Clock Gives The Right Time Twice A Day

April 24, 2010

As many countries still strive to see that elusive light at the end of the tunnel, some states and governments have got stuck in a rut of ‘wait-and-seeism’. I think most sane people would agree that this is taking the easy way out and avoiding those tough decisions which inevitably have to be taken to put things right. In fact, an economically-challenged period (read crisis) should by all accounts separate the wheat from the chaff: in companies this is the moment of truth when executives and managers get to earn their positions (and salaries) and show their real worth.

The same can be said of states. Now we’re getting a clear picture of which governments are tackling their problems head-on and which are just treading water. The role of the state in this respect is being placed under scrutiny. The way they handle this crisis will determine who will be left standing when the dust settles. It goes without saying that countries whose economic policies basically boil down to.. umm .. doing nothing are going to bite that dust way before it settles. Those states, whose exit strategy involves inaction, sluggish reactions, painstakingly slow implementation of measures and so on, are going to take a whole lot longer to see that elusive light, let alone any green shoots.

Spain is a case in point. The government’s economic policy appears to be all at sea; there’s a widespread feeling that they’re not doing enough to get Spain out of this crisis. Far from taking the bull by the horns, I fear this is one bull whose horns are going to remain untouched. There seems to be an underlying culture of reaction and not action. Nobody’s prepared to stick their neck out and do what has to be done. It’s time for people to take the initiative and show firm leadership, not sit back and see what happens. I call that inertia. The funny thing is that sooner or later, without doing anything at all, they’ll end up getting something right, just like a stopped clock.

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